Union members and politicians filled a public meeting to discuss their concerns about the review of healthcare services across Bedfordshire.
The meeting, organised by public sector union Unison, focused on the future of Bedford Hospital and the threat to services outlined by the options put forward by the GP-lead Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Unison eastern regional organiser Cheryl Godber said: “What appears to be emerging from the review are options for a potential downgrading of accident and emergency services in Bedfordshire.
“That is not what the local community would wish to see in an area whose needs and population is growing.”
Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson addressed the meeting, which was attended by about 75 people including representatives from the Conservative, Labour, Green and UKIP parties. He outlined the potential loss of paediatric, maternity and A&E services under the options identified by the joint review with Milton Keynes CCG.
He said: “We all intend to fight to save the hospital. I would also urge people to talk, or write to their own GPs to let them know what you think about what is being proposed in their name.”
He added: “Everybody has to stand up for the hospital, which has been there for 200 years and is one of the best in the region. We want to see it become one of the best in the country.”